Great apes in captivity tend to develop heart disease, but it's not believed to be linked to diet or lifestyle factors like in humans. The Ape Heart Project, a partnership between the UK's Twycross Zoo and the University of Nottingham's School of Veterinary Medicine, is examining the issue and may develop guidelines for care of apes.
Staff at the Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin, Texas, were pleasantly surprised when their female African lion Adia gave birth to a white cub. White lions are not albino; instead they carry two recessive alleles for the coloring. So far the cub's mother is providing appropriate care, the staff said.
More than a dozen bat rays that washed up dead in a California wildlife refuge may have been victims of marshland restoration efforts. Scientists periodically allow bay water to flow into marshlands, and the rays may have slipped in, too, dying from the salt levels, oxygen levels or shallow waters in what's believed to have been an isolated event.
Two subspecies of African queen butterfly are evolving into a separate female-only species thanks to a microbe that kills off male offspring before their eggs hatch, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. "We tend to think of new species coming about due to environmental changes, but here it's clearly the microbe that is driving these two subspecies apart. This means that no males are made in the hybrid zone ... thereby creating a barrier with a new species on either side," said study author Richard ffrench-Constant.
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Pavement temperatures can reach dangerous levels in summer and burn a dog's foot pads in minutes, according to veterinarian Kevin Fitzgerald, who said his hospital treats paw burns about every other day. The injuries can be severe, and it may take weeks for animals to completely recover, Dr. Fitzgerald added, urging owners to check pets' feet after a walk.
Adventure racer Mikael Lindnord shares the story of how he met Arthur, a sick, injured stray dog, during an adventure race in South America. Arthur seemed to decide he belonged with Lindnord, following the racing team through dangerous terrain and life-threatening challenges, and the pair formed a lasting bond.
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Beginning Jan. 1, Nashville dog and cat owners will be legally allowed to have pets vaccinated against rabies every three years instead of annually. Veterinarians may still give yearly rabies vaccines.
Cosmetic ear cropping and tail docking "are not medically indicated nor of benefit to the patient," according to the AVMA, and the practices may hinder dogs' ability to communicate. Such modifications also affect human perception, according to research published in PLOS One that found people see surgically altered dogs of certain breeds as more aggressive, and in many cases people were unaware the dogs had been modified.
There is an increasing awareness among campers, hikers, backpackers and other outdoor enthusiasts that while we are enjoying the open spaces nature has provided us, we should also be aware of the risks that come with the wilderness experience, and certain safety precautions should be taken. View AVMA's "Outdoor Enthusiasts and Their Companion Animals" web page to learn more about potential risks from outdoor activities and steps to take to reduce those risks.
The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one.
Elbert Hubbard, writer and artist
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